Business

FIBA aims to solve Tampa Bay business problems with Israeli tech

Pam Miniati and Rakefet Bachur-Phillips, co-directors of the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator. Photo courtesy of FIBA

The massive building on North Howard Avenue in Tampa was once a place for history-making men, a former armory stocked for war and full of machismo.

  • Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders camped there before fighting in the Spanish-American War. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy both spoke there. Even Elvis was at the former Fort Homer W. Hesterly Armory, playing a show for 10,000 fans in 1956.

Now, as the Jewish Community Center, the building hosts two women who hope to help transform Tampa Bay and perceptions of Israel.

Inflation is melting Tampa Bay's ice cream industry

Illustration of a melting ice cream cone, but the cone is a dollar bill.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

An ice cream cone cost one nickel when Tony Coryn started Dairy Mix.

Flashback: This was 1948, just after the Great Depression and World War II. Tony's son Ed Coryn, who now runs the St. Pete-based ice cream mix company with his own son, was 1 year old.

  • "He said, 'People, when they don't have any money, they still want a treat,'" Coryn tells Axios about his dad.

With Trump and Rumble, Florida becomes conservative media HQ

Illustration of a map of Florida, with a social media notifications icon with an elephant pinned on the map.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Donald Trump is bringing conservative media — a multi-billion-dollar industry — to Sarasota County.

Driving the news: Trump Media and Technology Group Corp., which owns social media app Truth Social, registered as a business in Florida earlier this month, using an office building on North Cattlemen Road in Sarasota as its address, per the Herald-Tribune.

  • Just 11 miles down the road, Canadian media company Rumble, a video platform commonly used by conservatives, recently made Longboat Key its U.S. headquarters.

Bringing North Tampa into the city's tech story

Illustration of a Tampa minaret with a light bulb coming out of it.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Tampa is on track to become the next Silicon Valley. But while big tech hubs can be breeding grounds for inequality, Mark Sharpe says that community investment will be the key to Tampa's success.

State of play: Sharpe, who leads the innovation nonprofit Soaring City !P, told Axios that he wants to make sure Tampa's tech growth will incorporate residents, encouraging them to be entrepreneurs and tech workers.

Vū brings big-screen tech to University of Tampa

The new Vū technology in action at University of Tampa. Photo courtesy of Vū Studio

Vū Studio unveiled its donation of cutting-edge virtual production equipment to the University of Tampa on Thursday.

Details: The donation, valued at $750,000, includes a 30-by-14-foot Vū LED screen and 4K LED processor, plus 120 hours of stage time and training at Vū's flagship Tampa studio for UT students.

Sarasota County cuts off conservative media platform Rumble

Illustration of a stack of hundred dollar bills being erased
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sarasota County is no longer ready to Rumble.

What's happening: Rumble, a mostly conservative media platform based in Canada, was awarded an $825,000 incentive grant last year to set up its headquarters in Longboat Key.

  • But the Sarasota County Commission voted Tuesday to stop awarding economic development incentive grants to businesses, meaning the site will not be receiving any taxpayer money for the move, per WUSF.
Ben Montgomery
Apr 13, 2022 - Business

An ode to The Orange Shop

a sign for the orange shop
The Orange Shop on U.S. 301 in Citra. Photo: Ben Montgomery/Axios

I drove up U.S. 301 toward Jacksonville the other day for the first time in a few years and pulled over to pay homage to an old Florida throwback, The Orange Shop.

  • I was so glad to see the beating heart of Citra's citrus commerce still pumping.
  • The parking lot was full of cars with out-of-state plates, and tourists browsed the wooden shelves lined with marmalades, citrus candies and coconut dolls.

Seven Tampa Bay billionaires make Forbes' richest people list

Illustration of a Florida license plate made out of gold.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

You could be neighbors with a billionaire.

Make sure you know these seven Tampa Bay residents on Forbes's "Richest in 2022" list, just in case you run into them in Publix.

Ronald Wanek, the St. Petersburg-based founder of Ashley Furniture.

  • Reported net worth: $5.5 billion
  • His son, Todd, Ashley Furniture's CEO, also made the list at $3.4 billion.

Edward DeBartolo Jr., chairman and CEO of DeBartolo Holdings in Tampa and owner of a property development and investment firm, as well as the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers.

  • Reported net worth: $2.7 billion
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